Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / World / World Watch

Growing influence of TikTok can't be ignored

By Barry He | China Daily Global | Updated: 2022-01-14 12:26
Share - WeChat

Short video app TikTok has officially overtaken Google as the internet's most popular destination, boasting over 1 billion monthly users. As China's most famous digital export, the brand is synonymous with pop culture.

With billions of people in lockdown at various times over the past two years, many have looked to the app for a source of entertainment, which has made brand success on the app a big deal. Whether it be a musician's song that goes viral or a company brand that obtains a huge following, any success on TikTok is 21st century gold dust.

New trends on the app in 2022 will be followed closely by individuals and corporations alike, and understanding these developments will be hugely important.

Videos on TikTok are limited to 60 seconds, with the most popular length still being 15 seconds. What is becoming increasingly popular with creators is episodic content-a series of videos that follow the same sequence or plot.

Audiences on TikTok are becoming increasingly hooked on weekly cliffhangers at the end of 60-second videos-an approach more commonly associated with long-form content on television or in online streaming. Audiences naturally want to see what follows, and more in-depth concepts can be explored, countering the notion that scrolling through such apps offers a superficial experience.

Hashtag challenges are another popular craze that brands should be aware of. US talk show host Jimmy Fallon created the wildly popular#TumbleweedChallenge, which greatly increased the show's engagement with a younger audience. The challenge involved rolling on the floor to resemble tumbleweed with a backing track of old US western music.

A catchy hashtag or engaging challenge that users will have fun sharing can prove extremely useful for brands looking to raise their profile or be associated with certain humor or actions, raising emotional awareness in a way that traditional public relations strategies might struggle with.

Building on the hashtag challenges, social commerce is also an invaluable asset to brands. Similar to hashtag challenges, social commerce allows users to add shopping links to their videos featuring displayed products. First popularized among young audiences in China, where TikTok is known as Douyin, this style of advertising has become extremely popular.

Young people of Generation Z-those born between the mid-to late 1990s and the early 2010s-in particular are much more likely to buy items recommended to them by influencers they follow who have included a purchase link to their social commerce post, rather than through official channels.This type of marketing is more personable and does not carry the corporate atmosphere that many traditional commercials try their hardest to shed.

In 2022, a company that targets millennials and Gen Z must be well-versed if it is to survive.TikTok has a formal advertising branch, meaning that its capacity to target relevant demographics is better than ever. This in turn means that the system is able to support an even larger variety of influencers, with even more space for people to develop followings.

According to a survey by Tribe Dynamics, 35 percent of influencers said they have started to utilize TikTok more heavily as part of their brand strategy. Ever more intelligent algorithms match users with content specifically tailored to them, maximizing the incentive for companies to heavily incorporate the platform as part of their marketing strategy.

The author is a London-based columnist for China Daily.

Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349